2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Saturday, July 29 • 15:31 - 17:00
Strategic Temporality On Social Media During The General Election Of The 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign [FULL]

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Authors: Feifei Zhang, Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Jeff Hemsley, Jerry Robinson, Bryan Semaan, Lauren Bryant, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Olga Boichak and Yatish Hegde

Abstract: To date, little attention has been paid to the temporal nature of campaigns as they respond to events or react to the different stages of a political election--what we define as strategic temporality. This article seeks to remedy this lack of research by examining campaign Facebook and Twitter messaging shifts during the 2016 U.S. Presidential general election. We used supervised machine-learning techniques to predict the types of messages that campaigns employ via social media and analyzed time-series data to identify messaging shifts over the course of the general election. We also examined how social media platforms and candidate party affiliation shape campaign messaging. Results suggest differences exist in the types of campaign messages produced on different platforms during the general election. As election day drew closer, campaigns generated more calls-to-action and informative messages on both Facebook and Twitter. This trend existed in advocacy campaign messages as well, but only on Twitter. Both advocacy and attack tweets were posted more frequently around Presidential and Vice-Presidential debate dates.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00 EDT
TRS 1-147 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9